Platinum Blues, by William Deverell

Eight stars

In another of William Deverell’s legal thrillers, the reader learns a little more about life in the bucolic town of Foolsgold, California, and an attorney who discovers the ins and outs of copyright law. Oliver Gulliver is one of two attorneys in Foolsgold, making a living as best he can. While also serving as the town’s mayor, Gulliver is a widower and raising two daughters. The elder returns from a time away in San Francisco, where she has partnered with her musical idol, a washed-up rocker who is living out of a bottle of booze. While trying to find himself again, C.C. Gilley begins composing new songs dedicated to his newest love, much to Gulliver’s chagrin. After Gulliver helps Gilley out of his contract, he works to secure the artist’s recordings at the copyright office. However, someone seems to have had other ideas, as a rival musical group soon as an identical song climbing the charts. With little to lose, Gulliver flexes his legal muscle to assert the copyright, which has him making his way to the offices of Oriole Records, where he is met with distain. A small-town lawyer finds himself in the big courts to fight a million-dollar lawsuit, against a gaggle of lawyers who are happy to bury him in documents. Will Oliver Gulliver be able to keep his head above board, while also juggling some of the concerns back in Foolsgold? Deverell offers another unique approach to the law, using his own writing style to keep the reader engaged throughout this shorter piece. Recommended to those who enjoy William Deverell’s work, as well as the reader who likes the law presented in a unique and tangential fashion.

My enjoyment of William Deverell’s work began when binge reading his Canadian legal series last spring/summer. This led me on a subsequent one-off binge, as I have been taking time to read some of his other work. There have been pieces I thoroughly enjoyed while others remain baffling to me. This piece was surely one of the greater single novel experiences I have had with Deverell. Not only does it take the reader into the quaint parts of America, but there is also some unique legal angles that are explored. Oliver Gulliver comes across as a no nonsense father who enjoys his small town life. That he has been pulled into the middle of this legal drama comes across as being more a thorn than a challenge for him, but he soon discovers how passionate he becomes defending the rights of ‘the little man’. Not one to back down from the hurdles placed before him, Gulliver grows, both as a lawyer and personally, throughout the piece, which the reader will readily discover throughout. Others that populate the pages of the book have their own entertaining characteristics, which both help and hinder the protagonist along the journey. With some of Deverell’s trademark courtroom drama, legal-minded individuals make an appearance and offer some interesting interpretations of the law. The story was sound and worked well with the quaint theme throughout. It has moments of grit and others of trying to see ‘The Man’ slain for their cockiness, which works as a decent theme throughout. If someone were looking for a great starting point, I would surely direct them to this novel, before requesting a plunge into some of the spectacular Canadian legal work that William Deverell has authored.

Kudos, Mr. Deverell, for another winner. I am enjoying this journey through your writing and will continue exploring, as best I can.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: